Every now and then, life gives you a gift—you find a dollar bill on the sidewalk, or maybe you see a double rainbow, or a stranger pays you a compliment. This week, I received the best gift of all. Time. I got a huge, awesome, whopping gift-chunk of unexpected free time. My trip to London on Tuesday cancelled because of the snowstorm, and I was not reassigned to another one. It meant three extra wonderful, glorious, unscheduled days at home. In my book, it doesn’t get better than this.
For me, no amount of money can replace the time I spend with my family. If I bid up to a larger airplane, or flew more trips, we could replace that ’99 Camry with something else. Something “better.” But then what would my sons do for a chick magnet? (We tell them they are soo lucky, because the’98 or 2000, Camry? Right out. The ’99, we assure them, drives girls wild.) If I bid up to the left seat, I probably wouldn’t have to spit my toothpaste into my blue 1970’s bathroom sink for much longer and we’d have granite countertops in my kitchen. Of course, I would never get to see them—my kids or my countertops—because I would fly every weekend and holiday for years. These are the choices I’ve (we’ve!) made. I choose time.
I’ve taken crap at work for “dropping my time down”, so I could spend more time with my family. And I’ve taken crap from family (some family, they know who they are) for working at all. In the end, what I know is this: it’s not my crap. It’s their crap. I have a job that I love. If I were to quit, I would never, ever get it back. In choosing time over more money, I was there to hear both of my sons speak their first words and see them take their first steps. I was there for Every. Single. First. Day. Of. School. I was there for school plays and concerts and report card pick-up days and parent-teacher conferences.
And I know without a doubt, I will not go to my grave saying, “Gee, I wish I’d flown to London one more time.”
Today I took my gift of free time and gave myself a gift; I went to yoga (and well, then I gave myself the gift of going to the grocery store and doing laundry and starting dinner) But I was home for the kids’ half-day of school, and we spent the afternoon enjoying our extra, wonderful time together by making crafts. Actually, no—we enriched ourselves at a museum. Okay, no. The boys were at a friend’s house and my daughter had a friend over and we didn’t see each other much at all. BUT, tonight, like last night, we will all sit down to dinner together. Two extra meals as a family that we would not have had, had I been in London one more time. And that is a gift I will always be grateful for, because, honestly, have you ever eaten fish and chips?
Thank you for reading A City Mom!! If you Like my A City Mom page on Facebook here and/or following me on Twitter @acitymom, I will be eternally grateful. But not as grateful as I am for an unexpected day off. Just, you know, really grateful. As always, thank you so much for the Likes and Follows!
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